|Cincinnati Reds (70-81)
|Chicago Cubs (82-68)
|W: Mills (1-0) L: Gausman (3-9)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Kevin Gausman-as-a-Reds-starter era got off to a rocky start tonight after allowing two singles and a Kyle Schwarber (Middletown alert) home run to put the good guys in an early 3-0 hole. He got a 1-2-3 inning in the 2nd against the bottom of the lineup and that was that. Gausman has been pretty good from the Cincinnati bullpen in 11 games, but tonight was not his best work.
Somewhat surprisingly, Cole Hamels was even worse tonight as he allowed five walks and a hit batter in 3.1 innings. The Reds were able to put two runs up, but they definitely missed a lot of opportunities. The first inning ended after an Aquino flyout and Casali strikeout with two runners on, and the third inning ended on a Michael Lorenzen strikeout with bases loaded, a Curt Casali walk producing the only run. It was the first time Hamels allowed a bases loaded walk since 2016. The Reds second run came in the fourth inning on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Phillip Ervin. Eugenio Suarez struck out to end the inning.
After Lucas Sims threw two scoreless innings and Matt Bowman produced a scoreless fifth, Amir Garrett faced three batters and allowed a single, HBP and double. Joel Kuhnel relieved him and allowed another run on a single by Ben Zobrist, pushing the score to 5-2 (both runs credited to Garrett). Rubin Alaniz came on in the seventh and pitched well. He struck out Bryant, got Schwarber to ground out and then struck out Contreras. The eighth didn’t go as well, as he allowed a walk and a single and then hurt himself with a throwing error that scored a run. Jimmy Herget came on and gave up a walk to Lucroy and a double to Castellanos (his league leading 55th of the season) to extend to the lead to 8-2. That would be the final score.
Other game notes:
Alex Blandino hit the ball well tonight. He got unlucky in the 1st as Jason Heyward made a nice catch in centerfield on a 104.6 mph, 386 foot line drive. He also had a single that was hit at 107.3 mph.
The Reds showed good patience early against Hamels who clearly did not have it. It was only the 8th game of the year with seven or more team walks.
Aristedes Aquino has really cooled off and left some key runners on base. He is down to a 121 wRC+ on the year.
Jose Peraza was the only Reds player to collect multiple hits. He was also thrown out stealing.
The Cardinals and Brewers both won tonight as well so no games won or lost in the NL Central. The Cubs remain 2 games back and the Brewers 3 games back. With Washington losing to St. Louis, the two NL Wild Card spots are separated by just 1.5 games among three teams (Nationals, Cubs, Brewers).